1 Samuel 26:23 Turning Down Revenge

Calm lake in a valley

The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. 1 Samuel 26:23 

Revenge is what a lot of people want and will take if given the opportunity. They will strive to get back at a person who has done wrong to them. Often people think it is their right to be able to strike back at the enemy or any person who has done some wrong to them.

This revenge is often covered up by calling it justice or giving the person what he deserves.

David was being chased by King Saul to be destroyed, even though David had never did anything against the king. At one point, David and his men come upon Saul during the night, while he was sleeping, and had the opportunity to kill Saul. According to the normal customs at the time, he had that right. Yet, David does not want to even touch Saul. He chooses to turn down the opportunity for revenge and trusts God for His deliverance.

It is easy to think that God had given David the opportunity to kill Saul, yet, David would not. He was looking at something greater, God’s love for all people. David would let God deal with His enemies in His way and in His time.

Every believer will have days where the opportunity to strike back physically against his enemy will arise. He will have to make a choice as to what he will do at that time.

Following the ways of the world and striking the enemy is easy. Yet, God’s ways are to show mercy, grace, and love–refusing to strike or get revenge. Jesus later stated that the believer is to turn the cheek and forgive many times.

As a believer, there was a time when you had been an enemy of God. He could have chosen to strike and kill you many times. Yet, God did not, but chose to show you love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

In the same way God has shown you mercy and grace, you must also show that same mercy and grace towards those who are your enemy. Allow God to be the one who will strike your enemies in His time and way.

Chose to turn down the opportunity for revenge and allow God to work through you to show His love and mercy. It can change the hearts of people.

I pray today that you will know God’s love and mercy in your life; that you will show His love and mercy to your enemies; and that you will trust God to deliver you from your enemies in His way and time.

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Colossians 4:5 Using Opportunities Correctly

 

Immigrants

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5

All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.

When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.

The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?

Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.

Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.

The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.

Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.

Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?

Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom. 

Philippians 1:12 All For A Purpose

 

boat at sunrise

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. Philippians 1:12

Things that appear to be bad happen to people on a regular basis. Questions always arise as to why bad things occur to good people. These types of questions arise with both believers and non-believers.

A person who has been generous with his time and money all of his life, suddenly gets cancer. A person who has always been kind and generous loses his job and house. A generous and serving person ends up in a major life-changing accident. In each of these people are always asking why did it happen.

None of these things has anything to do with whether a person is a believer or not.

Add all of those things to a believer and a believer must deal with more events. A strong believer, who is a constant witness for Jesus, who runs from all sin, is suddenly put in prison, or is fired because of his belief. Or the believer is put through a lot of problems and harassment because of his belief in Jesus.

Paul had a major event in his life. He had been faithful to God in spreading the gospel message of Jesus. He never did any harm to anyone. Yet, he was put in prison. The Philippian church was wondering what had happened and why it occurred.

Paul used that time in prison to spread the gospel. He did fight back or get angry at the people or God for being in prison. He used that time there to be a witness to everyone in the prison, both prisoners and guards. As a result it spread the gospel message into a new area.

There will come times of major catastrophes in your life. It may mean major change in living, position, health, or many other areas. God does not always reveal why it happens, but one thing that can always occur because of it is the spreading of the gospel message.

That event may bring you to new people to tell about Jesus. Your actions and reactions to the situation will be a witness of your belief and trust in God.

Do not get discouraged or angry at God or the world. Use that event to help spread the gospel message to all the world. It can have an eternal purpose.

I pray today that you will know God is with you; that you will see events through the eyes of God; that you will use everything as an opportunity to be God’s witness; and that God will reach many people through you.

Colossians 4:5-6 Be Wise In Your Conversation

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6

Paul is bringing his letter to the Colossian church to an end. He finishes with telling the people to be careful in the actions and their words with outsiders.

Outsiders are the people who are outside the church. They are the people who do not believe in Jesus. Every believer is to be careful in how they act around these outsiders.

Watching the news and seeing how some believers act with non-believers, it does not show much wisdom. Many believers will slam non-believers and cut them down continually. They will berate them for their sinful acts. They will ridicule them for their beliefs (such as belief in evolution). They will shun them and have absolutely nothing to do with them.

Jesus did not do this. He was accused of eating with the tax collectors and sinners.

As a believer you must seek out opportunities to be a witness for Jesus. Being a witness is more than just pointing out sins and pointing to Jesus. It is reaching out in love and caring for a person, helping them as you point them to Jesus.

When you speak to them, it should not just be words of condemnation. There should be a lot of grace with truth. The non-believer lives like he does because that is all he knows to live like. He does not know any other way to live. Show them the life God can provide. Show them the love and mercy God has.

The world will give you opportunities to tell them why you live like you do and believe like you do. Seek those opportunities. Be ready to answer them with the love and grace of God.

Your speaking should be like that of Jesus. When Jesus spoke to non-believers He was gentle and kind. When He spoke with those who claimed to believe, but did not serve God, He was very harsh.

Does your conversation with others match that of Jesus? God will give you wisdom if you ask for it. Be wise in your talking.

I pray today that God will give you opportunities to touch the lives of non-believers; that God will give you His wisdom in what to say and do; that your conversations will be like those of Jesus; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

Acts 16:34 One Purpose of Prison Time

“The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God–he and his whole household.” Acts 16:34

Paul and Silas had been thrown into prison. Instead of complaining and hollering and calling a lawyer, they prayed and praised God. They were being a witness to the other prisoners. God heard their prayers and sent an earthquake to break open the prison doors. None of the prisoners ran. Paul then witnesses to the prison guard about Jesus. The prison guard gives his heart to the Lord Jesus.

Many people are not thrown into real physical prisons, but into prisons of hardships, troubles, and trials. The first thing that most people do when they are tossed into a prison is ask why they are there. They are questioning God’s love for them. They are questioning what they did to bring them to that point.

If you are in a prison right now, it may not be that you did anything wrong. It may be God’s will to have you there. Remember that God works ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him. This means that the prison is for the good of those who love Him.

Being in prison gave Paul a chance to be a witness to the prison guard, who gave his life to the Lord Jesus. This had to have been a joy for Paul to see. Had he not been in prison, he would not have seen this.

In your prison today, you need to ask God how you can be used to build His kingdom. How can you use your situation to be a witness to someone?

Try not to look at your situation as a negative setback, but as a divine opportunity to touch someone else’s life that needs it. Look at it as an opportunity to draw closer to God. In the end God will help you win and be blessed if you trust and follow Him.

I pray today that God will show you opportunities to be His witness; that you will not fear prisons in your life; that you will not complain but trust God; and that God will do great things in and through you.

Revelation 3:7 Open and Closed Doors

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Revelation 3:7

With the church in Philadelphia, Jesus does not have any negative words to say to them. They are being faithful and continued patiently in serving God. He sees that they are tired but still continue on.

Jesus is described as the one who holds the keys to the doors. He opens and shuts doors of His own choosing.

People in the world are constantly looking for open doors for more wealth or fame or power. Some people are continually changing jobs looking for better pay with less work involved.

Connections with others in the business world is very common. Depending on who you know, depends on which doors may be opened to you.

How many times do you look for an open door of opportunity, especially when looking for work? You knock on many doors only to see they are closed to you for some reason or other. Then you knock on a door that opens and you are grateful for the connections that opened that door.

Other times you have an open door and someone else is jealous and tries to close that door on you. Many in the world do not want to see you get ahead of them. They will do all they can to open the door to themselves and close it to you.

In this passage, however, you see that Jesus is the one who controls opening and closing of doors. When He opens a door for you, no enemy or person can close that door. When He shuts that door to you, you will not be able to open it up.

Seek God for direction in what doors to go through. Jesus will daily open doors for opportunity to build His kingdom, be willing to go through them. Do not try to close the doors to building the kingdom of Jesus.

When you have little strength left in you it will be tempting to try to close the door to serving God. Don’t do it. Seek God for strength to continue on.

When God closes the door, don’t waste your energy trying to open it up again. Be willing to move on.

I pray that today God will show you new open doors to build His kingdom; that God will help you know when He has closed a door; that God will renew your strength; and that you will accept the open and closed doors of God.

***If you have any prayer requests please place a comment on them on my Prayer Request page. May God bless you!